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The greatest conundrum concerning anthropogenic climate change may prove to be in the humanities and the social sciences. How is it even possible that highly exigent information for which overwhelming evidence exists does not make an immediate and strong impact on ideologies, policies, and life practices across the globe? This volume offers an intriguing and enlightening new approach to the the climate debate by taking it as a question of genre. Genres are the cultural categories that structure human understanding and communication, and genre research therefore offers a central key to unlocking the conundrum. From a genre perspective, if there is one thing the climate debate demonstrates, it is the inertia inherent in genre use. Patterns of understanding and interpretation once established seem to carry on even when they have long outlived their usefulness.
However, it is also evident that uses of genre can work to change this inertia.Genres play a vital role in human interaction, as we use them to learn, express ourselves, and to act. How individual actors utilize or manipulates genres determines to what extent knowledge of climate change spreads from the scientific community to the public, how it is debated, and to what extent it leads to positive action.
Sune Auken, Associate Professor, Dr.Habil., University of Copenhagen
Christel Sunesen, MA, independent editor and publisher
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